Elliott S. Schwartz
The College Music Society, as the "umbrella organization" serving all those engaged in the study or teaching of music at the post-secondary level, has traditionally been concerned with issues that cut across specialist lines, thereby serving the broadest faculty and student constituency. The Society offers its members a unique opportunity to share ideas with colleagues representing a wide range of disciplines—music theory, composition, performance, musicology, ethnomusicology, and music education—by way of its annual meetings at the national and regional level, special conferences, summer institutes, and series of publications. Among the latter, the CMS Reports series has proven to be especially stimulating and provocative. Its five volumes to date have presented findings, insights, and/or recommendations of CMS committees, conferences, study groups, or panels convened to explore issues of unique importance to the philosophy and practice of music in higher education—issues, for example, addressing the status of women and ethnic minorities within the college teaching profession, the re-examination of the music curriculum, the unique needs of our largest student constituency (the "general," as opposed to pre-professional student), and long-neglected musical repertories which have taken on heightened significance in recent years.
The present volume, CMS Report No. 6, continues this tradition in that its central theme, "Musicology and Undergraduate Teaching", concentrates upon the special needs of a segment of the student population. (In this regard, the volume and its topic have strong ties to that broad area of "Music in General Studies" which CMS continues to study, discuss, and advocate.) But there are also signs here pointing in a new and rewarding direction having to do with faculty needs, challenges, and obligations. The four essays which comprise CMS Report No. 6 relate different attempts to address the dualistic nature of our teaching, in a sense altering the CMS "umbrella" analogy so that it now covers the twin professional heads of an individual faculty member.
Each of us has been trained to be a specialist. We attend to our scholarship, research, composing, or performing with the expertise, drive, and intensity that only specialization can engender. On the other hand, we are dedicated to serving our institutions as generalists, often working with undergraduate students of varying backgrounds, most of whom have no intention of pursuing careers in our special areas—or in music at all—later on. According to one unfortunate stereotype, many professors simply choose to ignore the latter of these twin obligations, electing instead to focus upon their own specialized concerns and their graduate-student disciples. Musicologists are apparently stereotyped in this manner more readily than others. This may be because their work appears to be relatively isolated from the everyday preoccupations of campus musical life, the practicalities of music making, or mundane pedagogical matters. Or it may be simply that musicologists formed a professional and scholarly association of their own many years ago, and regard that organization (the American Musicological Society) as their chief source of intellectual nourishment, research stimulus, and professional development. As we know, faculty theorists, ethnomusicologists, composers, and other specialist-groups have all formed similar societies for similar purposes; in many respects, however, the AMS remains the model of its type.
We must re-examine the stereotype, for it is contradicted at every turn. Some of our most distinguished musicologists have written first-rate undergraduate "music appreciation" texts; others are responsible for important encyclopedia entries—or entire reference volumes—directed at the general lay reader; still others have conducted college orchestras, led freshman seminars, directed campus new music ensembles. A growing number of musicologists are not only active and respected members of the AMS establishment, but important contributors to the continuing dialogue at the CMS "umbrella" forum as well. Jan Herlinger, Elaine Brody, Frank Tirro, Ann Scott, Douglass Seaton, and Anne Dhu Shapiro are only a few of the musicologists who have contributed a great deal of time and energy to furthering the work of The College Music Society. It is Anne Dhu Shapiro, in particular—currently CMS Board member for Musicology, and soon to be Society President-Elect—who conceived the panel on "Musicology and Undergraduate Teaching" for the 1987 New Orleans meeting, selected the four panelists, and worked to bring this volume to press. She deserves our sincere thanks and appreciation.